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This web site presents
the work of Esther Parada accompanied by texts taken from her writings.

 



BDM Girl: This image was taken from a photograph of the Bund Deutscher Mädchen was a Nazi youth organization.


Hayet: A Tunisian woman, she was sent to Munich in 1969 by the Siemens Company after a training program in Tunis. She works now in Munich has applied for German citizenship.


Anita Augspurg
(1857-1943):
One of the first German women to win a law degree, went on to found the German women's voting rights association and was a leading member of the international women's peace movement.


Heimat Bayern—für wen?
(Homeland Bavaria—for whom?)

1991

Completed in 1991, Heimat Bayern—fur wen? consists of six 1.8m x 3.7m panels on the facade of the Antikensammlungen (Museum of Antiquities) at the Königsplatz in Munich, Germany. It was one of six site-specific installations commissioned by the city of Munich (in conjunction with the Lenbachhaus State Gallery) to mark the politically charged history of that site. This grandiose plaza, ringed by neo-classical museums and monuments, was developed by Ludwig I of Bavaria in the early 1800s to express his fascination with Greek and Roman culture, and to showcase his collection of antiquities. In the 1930s the Königsplatz, its grassy lawns paved over by architects of the Third Reich, became a principal site of Nazi rallies and processions. The six panels of my Antikensammlungen installation echoed the niches on the facade of the Glyptothek (museum) directly opposite, with an important difference: in place of the exclusively male figures on that building, I chose to represent only women — because — except for female representatives of abstract ideas such as the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor or the statue of Bavaria in Munich — women are among the groups most consistently excluded from public space. I created a sequence of figures beginning, at either end of the building, with idealized icons referencing the imperial and fascist history of the site, and shifting to completely non-traditional or radical women. Digital technology facilitated the capture and retouching of images from multiple sources, ranging from museum catalogs and historical texts to my own photographs. A black-and-white illustration shown as it was installed on the east wing of the Antikensammlungen, is a good example of this process. In it, the nontraditional figure of Tunisian immigrant Hayet, scanned from my (1991) 35-mm transparency, emerges from the figure of the Nazi Youth League girl (whose Aryan features were idealized under the Third Reich) scanned from a historical photograph.

In documenting this work I show a red-fur-clad model posing on the steps of the Antikensammlungen—a scene I encountered the day after the opening when I went back to document the installation— as an ironic comment on my efforts to move beyond stereotypical representations of women in public space."

—Excerpt from Parada's essay, "Taking Liberties: Digital Revision as Cultural Dialogue," Leonardo, Vol. 26, No. 5, pp. 445-450, 1993

Artist Statement

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